Updated PCI Certifications
New Categories Explained
In October 2021, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), the foremost thought leading institution on precast and prestressed concrete standards, quality control, and innovation, implemented a new certification program to better specify architectural precast concrete panels. Now, all PCI certified architectural precast plants fall within one of five categories based on the complexity, design, and finish of product. The updated, more nuanced certifications make it easier for owners, architects, designers, and engineers to specify and find precast concrete producers that suit their individual projects’ needs.
Why Were the Certifications Changed?
The previous certification program had been in place for 50 years, so a need existed for more detailed criteria that was more consistent with today’s expectations for design standards and precast concrete producer abilities. The new categories better align each producer’s capabilities with the specific markets and segments they serve. The certification program also provides the assurance of industry-wide producer evaluation.
How Does the New Certification Program Work?
The previous A1, BA, and CA categories have been discontinued and replaced with four separate certification categories: AA, AB, AC, AD, and AT. All PCI-certified plants now fall under one of these five categories.
AA - AD Certification
AA – AD certifications encompass all architectural load bearing and non-load bearing precast concrete products. Structural products with an architectural finish, excluding the components of AT, fall under ‘AD’ certification.
‘AD’ certification includes flat panels that are limited in color or finish. Products in this category are typically considered stock with limited ability to customize, and can be used for an industrial, warehouse, or distribution center project.
‘AC’ certification includes cladding or non-load bearing pieces with architectural finishes, along with all products in AT and AD categories. ‘AC’ products may include more customized design aesthetics, including the use of color, form liners, reveals, patterns, and finishes.
To be ‘AB’ certified, cladding or non-load bearing products are produced with multiple concrete mixes and textures, a variety of three-dimensional projections, radius mold surfaces, or sequential returns in addition to all products in AT, AD, and AC. ‘AB’ products are the most common architectural cladding and wall panels, and may include higher-end applied finishes such as granite, terra cotta, stone, or intricate form liners.
‘AA’ certification, the highest, is achieved by producing all of the prior types of pieces along with following highly stringent product production and installation tolerances.
‘AT’ certification includes production of miscellaneous architectural trim units such as bollards, urns, sills, benches, copings, pavers, etc.
Is High Concrete Group PCI Certified?
High Concrete Group is proud to be ‘AA’ certified at both our Denver, PA and Springboro, OH plants. Because this is the highest rating in the new PCI architectural precast program, High Concrete is ranked among the most prestigious precast producers in North America. This achievement highlights our commitment to delivering quality products using the latest technologies and innovation. Being ‘AA’ certified sets High Concrete apart in our capacity to produce a wide range of complex designs and finishes. Our PCI certification also ensures that our precast products have the flexibility of design and quality needed in a variety of projects.
Ready to spec your next precast concrete project? Check out our whitepaper here to guide you through the new PCI certifications.